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What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations
We present a meta-analysis of impact estimates from over 200 recent econometric evaluations of active labor market programs from around the world. We classify estimates by program type and participant group, and distinguish between three different post-program time horizons. Using meta-analytic models for the effect size of a given estimate (for studies that model the probability of employment) and for the sign and significance of the estimate (for all the studies in our sample) we conclude that: (1) average impacts are close to zero in the short run, but become more positive 2-3 years after completion of the program; (2) the time profile of impacts varies by type of program, with larger gains for programs that emphasize human capital accumulation; (3) there is systematic heterogeneity across participant groups, with larger impacts for females and participants who enter from long term unemployment; (4) active labor market programs are more likely to show positive impacts in a recession.
Jochen Kluve is Professor of Empirical Labor Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Since 2007 he has also been Head of the Berlin Office of RWI, an economics think tank. Previously, he was head of the labor markets unit at RWI. From 2001 until 2003 he worked as lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Economics, UC Berkeley. Jochen Kluve studied economics in Heidelberg, Amsterdam and Dublin, and holds a PhD from Universität Heidelberg. He has worked extensively on the evaluation of Active Labor Market Programs, with a focus on youths, as well as other topics in labor policy and methodological issues in impact evaluation. Jochen Kluve has worked on projects and as a consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the ILO, the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the European Commission, the Governments of Mexico and Catalunya, and the German Federal Government. His work has been published e.g. in the Economic Journal, Labour Economics, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Series A), the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the Journal of Development Effectiveness.
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